Pro Arte Orchestra

Formed 1955. Disbanded 1970.


The Pro Arte Orchestra was a British symphony orchestra founded in 1955.

The Pro Arte Orchestra was founded as a limited company chaired by the double-bass player Eugene Cruft; directors also included Archie Camden and Antony English. The initial aim was to perform "the finest of the lighter classics in orchestral music". The first concert was given at the Royal Festival Hall on 21 October 1955 with a Rossini overture, Schubert's Unfinished, Lalo's Symphonie Espagnole and works by Strauss and Chabrier, conducted by Sir Malcolm Sargent. Much of the work of the orchestra, however, was in the recording studio, particularly for the Pye-Nixa label.

In the early years other players in orchestra included Cecil Aronowitz, Francisco Gabarro, Richard Adeney, Peter Graeme, Gervase de Peyer, Raymond Cohen and Alan Civil. The last London performance advertised by the orchestra was in 1970.

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